As a new parent, it is an adjustment getting into the routine of caring for your new baby. After a few weeks, once you begin to have a schedule and figure out how to work all your new baby gear, it is important to build in playtime for your little one.
So, then comes the challenge of finding the best baby toys for ages 0-6 months.
Babies at the ages of 0 - 6 months are all about discovery. While newborns can be sleepy at first, you will notice they are awake and alert for longer periods of time, at different times of the day. Look for these times in your baby's schedule and keep a basket of fun toys nearby for some playful opportunities.
Items that are the most popular for young babies at this age are toys that appeal or stimulate their senses through sound, touch, taste, and hearing. Babies love to see bright primary colors like red, blue, or yellow. Toys with high contrasts and simple designs are the best buys.
Bouncer Seats and Swings
Baby bouncer seats and swings/cradles are great items that many expecting parents include on their baby registry. These toys provide opportunities for your baby to learn different skills. Many are versatile and include features that can be changed, which appeal to a baby's interest over a period of time. So while they can be expensive, babies will use them for several months ad learn many new skills along the way.
Playmats or Play Gyms
First babies might just watch hanging toys or rattles with their eyes. They may see their toy move and be interested in where it is moving to, following it carefully with their eyes side-to-side. You may see them move their arms and bat at the dangling toys. Your little baby needs tummy time and play gyms are perfect for that.
Tummy time helps babies to build strength in their muscles in their neck and arms. They will use this control later on for other motor skills like crawling and even talking. The best tummy time toys often include small curved pillows for babies to be placed under their arms while they are on their belly to make it more comfortable.
Not all babies like tummy time at first. Do not be afraid and be the toy! Lie down on your belly, opposite your baby and sing songs or talk to them. There is nothing more motivating than seeing a family member's face and hearing your voice while you encourage them.
Babies are also discovering how to use their hands, feet, eyes and most of their senses. Infant reactions are random at very first, but they eventually learn by cause and effect. They will also learn over time that they have control over their own actions or they got a reaction or a response they enjoyed, so they will learn to perform and do actions again and again.
Babies love rattles. There are so many kinds of rattles. Some rattles make noises or have blinking lights. Others have soft textures, while many are made from hard plastic. Rattles should be light, soft and easy for your baby to handle or hold in their hand. Also, look for toys that can easily be cleaned from spit-up and drool.
Babies are tiny humans with likes, dislikes, and preferences, too. Offer your baby a variety of rattles to play with and see how they react. It won't be long before you know which ones are their favorites!
Car Seat Toys
Many rattles have clips and attachments that can also easily attach to your car seat, strollers, and high chairs. This makes it easy to play anywhere.
Reading to babies is very important for their language and vocabulary development. Look for soft, cloth books or durable board books with fabric spots for baby to touch while they look at the picture and hear new words while you read.
Once babies learn to love rattles, you will see them begin to explore with their hands, feet, and mouth. Always supervise babies when they are playing. Why are babies always putting toys in their mouths? Babies like to explore toys with their senses, including their mouths. These toys also provide comfort to their gums if they have new teeth emerging.
Babies love to see their reflection in a mirror. While some rattles have mirrors, there are also larger baby-safe mirrors that are are encased in cloth. These great toys are a lot of motivation, especially during tummy time.
Babies like to sleep, but they also need to learn to sleep at different times part of their nap and nighttime routines. Many sleep toys include soft, plush stuffed animals that play different lullabies and sounds to help baby know it is time to rest.
These are some great toys to help enhance your playtime. You will not only learn a lot about your baby's preferences, and help them with their development. It is important to realize, just because the baby didn't use the toy the perfect way the first time or cried, does not mean they will not like it tomorrow.